Rating: 4.5/5 – Modern Mythology with Mesmerizing Art.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Pretty Deadly is a book that feels like it’s based on some as yet unknown mythology. It takes some very deep and mature themes and wraps them in a beautiful yet violent package. It’s a book that kept me guessing, while demanding my attention as each page brought me closer and closer to understand just what’s going on. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has created something special with Pretty Deadly, and it isn’t an easy book to describe. It’s a western, with themes of horror. It’s poetic, but also action packed. Somehow DeConnick and artist Emma Rios have combined all these themes to create a story that isn’t like anything else out there, delivering on all those previously mentioned subjects.
As the book opens, the story is being told by an undead bunny. The story takes place in a midwest locale and we’re first introduced to Big Alice as she chases someone who we later meet, a young girl named Sissy and her blind protector known as the Fox. Just why they’re being chased isn’t found out until about half way through this first volume. As you come to realize just who everyone is and how they’re all connected, it makes perfect sense as DeConnick leads the reader on a violent journey slowly revealing more and more about the world she’s created. Each character is as meaningful to the larger story as the last, making each character have significance and feel important to the overall arc. All the characters and ideas introduced come to a head, finishing in this first volume’s fifth and final issue. Although the conclusion seemed to come very fast, the overall pacing worked for me.
Emma Rios’s art is something that has to be seen. Her lines are abundant and almost messy in a way, yet they all form a beautiful image. This book is full of violence and the amount of lines used adds to that violent imagery. She can go from one page where body parts are being dismembered in a rush of blurry panels, to another where you can see the beauty of the western landscape. Her designs for the characters involved are memorable, even for those that are just plain human. The book is full of creative design, which is helped immensely by Jordie Bellaire’s colors. Flipping through this first volume and you’ll see greens, pinks and oranges that give the art an even more unique feel. It’s a perfect combination and something that I can’t wait to see more of.
This was a stunning beginning of a modern mythology in the making. The only question I have is where this creative team plans on taking this book next. No matter where that is, I’ll definitely be along for the ride.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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